Sunday, September 26, 2010

47 million

for an egregious example of what I'm talking about in the previous post,

see page 13 of the Sunday Opinion section in today's NYTimes,

the Metropolitan Opera currently spending 16 million on a new production of Wagner's Ring,

while last year the Los Angeles Opera wasted 31 million on a similar fling—

Where are the poets protesting this misallocation of arts funding?

Where are the poets picketing these presentations,

lying down inside the opera houses refusing to move and forcing the police to drag them up the aisles with nightsticks and tasers,

where are the poets refusing to accept this injustice—

poetry is the least funded art, every poet knows: but

when are the poets going to rise up and battle against this inequity?

47 million: 470 poets could have been given a hundred thousand dollars apiece

to support their work,—

470 poets should have been granted this money,

but poets will never get the share of arts funding they rightfully deserve unless

they stand up and fight for it!

a fable:

The State (society, the institutional powers that be, etc) has budgeted 20 beans for the Arts—

of course 20 beans are too little, the State should allocate more beans, everybody knows, everybody bleats and tirades

that 20 beans are not enough funding for the Arts, etc., etc.,

the State should give them more, the State should blah blah blah—

the Artists endlessly complain they're being shortchanged in the State's dispersal of resources—

and they're right, of course: but so what?

The Artists can bang their heads against the State's palace doors all they like,

but 20 beans is it.

And eventually inevitably those 20 beans are distributed to the Arts:

Music gets 8 beans,

Film gets 4,

Painting/Visual gets 3,

Theater gets 3,

Prose gets 2,

Poetry gets—wait, aren't there any left? Did you count them right?